La Habra, California has been described as a place with a liquor store on every corner and more pitbulls than people. That is very different than the picture of La Habra I have, and the way I feel about it when I bring people home to visit. If that is the way I feel about the city I grew up in, I would say that is an accurate view of how my BFF feels about his home, Dundee, Scotland. Dundee would never be called a thriving metropolis, and is known for being a low socio-economic threshold, but it lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea. The bus ride into Dundee is quite beautiful, and the bus ride out as the sun was getting ready to set makes the place look peaceful and calm. Even without all of that, I knew that I would enjoy Dundee for the simple fact that it is the birthplace of my BFF and he invited me home to meet his family.
With the exception of David’s family, families love me, and more often than not, I love them. I am also really competitive, so the fact that I am the first (and so far, only) person that has been invited meant that the day promised to be a good one. I was not disappointed. The only downside to the trip was that the day seemed to progress at warped speed and was over before I could properly blink. The trip started off with a quick bus ride. The BFF and I are never short on good banter, so the trip passed quickly. We then met a good friend of his for lunch in a fun little pub. We swapped stories, had some good grub, and then they treated me to a quick tour of the university where they did their undergrad. We followed lunch with a trip to Gran’s house. A good cup of tea and nice conversation followed. I also got to meet the aunt and uncle and very excited boxer. Listening to them all interact and chat with each other was fun. The BFF was very much relaxed, and very happy to be in his gran’s kitchen. From there we moved on to his mother’s house to meet the rest of the family. His mother was very nice and very welcoming. She tried to feed us, and then did the best thing ever and brought me a some great baby pictures. I even got to see him with a tan!!!! This is a big thing for those who don’t know my BFF. He is a proper Scottish boy, pasty skin and all. He hates the sun, and his idea of perfect weather is a cold light rain and possibly some wind. His mom sent us off with a backpack full of food, reminding me a lot of my mom whenever I would visit for the weekend when I was living in California.
The best part of the day was the fact that I had a few hours with the BFF that were just the two of us. We had some serious bonding in the backseat of the car in Belfast, but since then, we haven’t really had a lot of BFF bonding time. He didn’t really know the specifics about heartstompapoolza, but he made sure to show up when I needed a night out and offer me chats and his hatred for David. He is generally antisocial, but he always makes time for me, and checks in with a funny thought or insightful comment. He is one of the things that will most about Scotland.
I got to end the night with some of the other reasons that I will miss Scotland. I got a home cooked Chinese meal and some much needed junk food. I love hanging out with the girls from my program because they understand the need to be random and ridiculous, and they are also quick to remind me that I am not a spinster in the making. They listen to my moans and complaints and fears about going home, and are quick to remind me all of the good that is coming from it.
Even though I am stretched way too thin this week, I am glad that they are willing to carve out time to spend with me before I return to the land of sunshine and movie stars.